How to Send Encrypted Emails to Anyone with ProtonMail

ProtonMail is a Swiss electronic mail supplier that locations a powerful emphasis on privateness and safety.

Accounts might be arrange with out offering a single piece of figuring out data. And all emails are saved in such a manner that even the workers of ProtonMail are unable to learn their contents.

If you’d like to ship an encrypted electronic mail, ProtonMail is a wonderful selection.

Emails between ProtonMail customers are encrypted robotically. But the corporate additionally makes it simple to ship encrypted emails to anybody no matter supplier.

What Is Email Encryption?

Email encryption is the method of encoding emails in such a manner that solely the meant recipient can learn them.

There are two most important protocols used to obtain this.

  • In transit encryption utilizing TLS
  • End-to-end encryption

TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is a normal characteristic of all main electronic mail suppliers. It prevents emails from being learn after they’ve been despatched however earlier than they’ve been obtained.

TLS is primarily designed to forestall man-in-the-middle assaults. It’s an necessary characteristic however it doesn’t defend emails as soon as they’ve reached the recipients inbox.

This implies that such emails can nonetheless be seen by a 3rd celebration in the event that they handle to achieve entry to the recipients electronic mail server.

For this purpose, TLS alone shouldn’t be advisable for delicate emails.

End-to-end encryption entails a extra strong strategy to electronic mail privateness.

Under this protocol, emails are encrypted proper up till the purpose that they’re opened by the meant recipient.

In this text, it is end-to-end encryption that we are going to be discussing.

Related: What Is End-to-End Encryption?

How Does Email Encryption Work With ProtonMail?


ProtonMail makes use of a type of end-to-end encryption generally known as Pretty Good Privacy or PGP.

Under this protocol, all inboxes are geared up with each a public and a non-public key. The non-public secret is accessible solely to the proprietor of the inbox. All emails are saved in encrypted type. And they can’t be accessed by anyone besides the proprietor of the inbox.

This is named zero-access encryption. And it’s an enormous step up in contrast to TLS which leaves emails which might be at relaxation vast open to compromise.

If ProtonMail was ever to get hacked, the contents of your inbox would stay off limits to whomever carried out the assault.

How to Send Encrypted Emails to Other ProtonMail Users

All emails between ProtonMail customers are robotically geared up with end-to-end encryption.

When you ship an electronic mail, your public secret is robotically included. When you obtain an electronic mail, their public secret is robotically imported. You don’t want to do the rest.

If you obtain an electronic mail and also you’re unsure if the sender is utilizing ProtonMail, you possibly can test the From area.

If the e-mail is from one other ProtonMail person, there will probably be purple lock displayed subsequent to the sender’s electronic mail tackle.

How to Send Encrypted Emails Using PGP

ProtonMail Public Key

PGP can be used with non ProtonMail customers supplied they perceive the idea and are themselves utilizing an electronic mail consumer or plug in that accepts it.

To accomplish that, you’ll first want to change public keys. To ship the recipient your public key, it’s best to do the next:

  1. Open the editor and compose a clean electronic mail
  2. Click on the drop down menu – that is situated above the textual content editor and to the suitable
  3. Select the Attach Public Key choice
  4. Send the e-mail

To obtain a public key from any individual else, they’ll have to ship you an electronic mail.

To import a public key, it’s best to do the next.

  1. Open the e-mail with the general public key hooked up.
  2. ProtonMail will show a yellow message straight above the emails contents. Click Trust Key
  3. ProtonMail will show a pop up window asking to your permission. Select Use for Encryption then Trust Key a second time.

Any emails that you simply change with that individual will now be geared up with PGP end-to-end encryption.

Whenever you obtain an electronic mail that’s encrypted on this manner, there will probably be a inexperienced lock subsequent to the sender’s electronic mail tackle.

How to Send Encrypted Emails Using Password Protection

ProtonMail Outside Encryption

If you’d desire not to use PGP encryption, ProtonMail additionally permits you to ship emails which might be password protected.

This choice is nice if you need to ship an encrypted electronic mail to any individual unfamiliar with PGP.

It affords an identical stage of safety however understand that it can’t be used to obtain an electronic mail.

Here are the steps.

  1. Open the editor and compose an electronic mail as regular
  2. Once completed, click on on the lock icon, (situated under the textual content editor, to the left of the ship button)
  3. Enter and ensure a password of your selecting – you’ve gotten the choice of together with a password trace
  4. The recipient will obtain a message from ProtonMail telling them that there’s an encrypted electronic mail ready for them, alongside with a hyperlink to learn it
  5. By following the the hyperlink, they are going to be taken to ProtonMail and requested to enter the password to learn the e-mail
  6. If the recipient doesn’t click on the hyperlink inside 28 days, the e-mail is robotically deleted

The apparent draw back of this method is that you’ll want to talk with the recipient upfront to share the password.

The recipient can also be required to click on a hyperlink inside an electronic mail which is one thing that many individuals are rightfully weary about doing.

Is End-to-end Email Encryption Worth the Effort?

Pretty Good Privacy is a strong and great tool. But it’s not precisely identified for being person pleasant.

Password safety is less complicated to perceive however it nonetheless requires you to contact the recipient upfront.

The want for end-to-end encryption is debatable as a result of all of it is determined by how delicate your emails really are. What’s not open for debate, nonetheless, is that with out end-to-end encryption, nothing that you simply ship has any actual assure of privateness.

lock encryption feature
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